What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a low dose X-ray of the breast tissue. Mammography is performed to look for early signs of breast cancer before a patient develops symptoms. It can also be used to look for any abnormality when a patient develops a new symptom (a lump or focal pain) in her/his breast tissue.

A routine screening mammogram usually includes at least two pictures of each breast taken at different angles. If there is an abnormality on the screening mammogram or patients have a new symptom (a lump or focal pain) a diagnostic mammogram should be ordered. Diagnostic mammograms include additional pictures of the abnormality or area of concern.

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